We weren’t all home watching the Olympics

Among the 8,000-plus skiers at this weekend’s Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wis., were many familiar names. Entrants included faculty member Kevin Fermanich, former assistant chancellor Dean Rodeheaver, former athletics trainer Cecily Dawson, and Nordic ski team alumni Johanna Winters and Joshua Korn. Winters finished 5th overall in the women’s skate division with a time of 2:20:49.6 over the 50K course, just 4:31 behind the winner. Korn placed 41st overall.  Find results for all your favorite skiers at www.birkie.com/page/show/104568-results.

Ever wonder why Nordic Skiing is so popular in the area? Give some credit to Fermanich, Dawson, Rodeheaver and former UW-Green Bay computer center employee Phil Nelson. They help run a club team out of Ashwaubenon High School (click here) that has produced some of the finest young skiers in Wisconsin. Nelson is the head coach of the club, and Fermanich and Dawson are parent volunteers (Fermanich’s daughter, Lydia, completed her second Korte (23 K) this past weekend). Two athletes from the club were recently chosen for the Midwest Junior Olympic Team and will compete at Junior Olympic Nationals starting March 7 in Maine. The club team is made up of students from many area high schools. Rodeheaver and his wife are volunteer coaches and contributors to the new Bay Area Youth Nordic Ski Club in town – http://baynordic.blogspot.com/ – a Nordic ski program for young people ages 3 to 12. The program is available to kids in Green Bay and surrounding communities.

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